First discovered by its tumor suppressor function, the phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) has been deeply studied due to its influence over cellular proliferation, survival and migration processes, thus showing a great potential as a modulator of neurogenesis - both in embryological and adult lives - and potentially of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, it is well known that environmental factors - such as intermittent diet - can also modulate neurogenesis, having many other benefic effects, e.g. an increase in life expectancy, neuroprotection against inflammatory processes and even a decrease on memory and learning deficits associated with aging.With the use of the conditioned knockout mice, it is possible to work around the problem of embryological lethality of the total PTEN deletion, allowing a more detailed study of its physiological functions. Thus, taking into consideration the relevance of the hippocampal region to the neurogenesis during the adult life and its key role to cognition, this project will make use of this animal model in order to evaluate the PTEN effects on hippocampi from mice undergoing intermittent diet.Therefore, the aim of this study is to further characterize the PTEN signaling pathways and their correlation with the well-studied intermittent diet effects, contributing to a better understanding of the potential interventions targeting the prevention or the treatment of diseases related to the central nervous system or even to the tumor formation process.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: